24th July 2024
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U.S. pledges $157 million in food aid to South Sudan

Author: Chany Ninrew | Published: Friday, July 5, 2024

Ambassador Michael J. Adler speaks during the commemoration of IOM's 10-year Anniversary of Rapid Response Fund. November 2023. (Photo: Awan Moses/Eye Radio).

The United States government has announced $57 million in additional humanitarian assistance to alleviate the hunger crisis in South Sudan and pledged further $100 million in the coming months.

U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan Michael J. Adler announced the assistance on the 248th anniversary of his country’s independence from the Great Britain.

Amb. Adler said Washington’s support for the South Sudanese people is enduring and takes shape in many ways including through needs-based, life-saving humanitarian assistance.

“Today I am announcing more than $57 million in additional humanitarian assistance to address urgent needs of crisis-affected people in South Sudan,” he said.

“And we intend to provide additional support in the coming months, including $100 million in food aid in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”

The $157 million assistance will now bring the total U.S. government humanitarian assistance in South Sudan to nearly $351 million to date in Fiscal Year 2023-2024 and to nearly $7.3 billion since 2011.

This follows decades of humanitarian aid predating South Sudan’s independence.

Mr. Adler called on the transitional government to increase its own contribution to alleviate the suffering of 9 million vulnerable South Sudanese people projected to be in need of assistance, including over 700,000 people, who have fled from Sudan since April 15th, 2023.

“I again call on the transitional government to reduce the costs and risks faced by international donors and humanitarian workers seeking to help the South Sudanese people,” the envoy added.

Last month, two United Nations agencies projected the highest level of food insecurity in 18 hotspots across the world, with South Sudan, Palestine, Sudan and Mali set to suffer famine from June to October 2024.

The early warning report released by World Food Program (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), highlights the urgent need for assistance to prevent famine and dire hunger crises in the four countries.

According to the UN agencies, the number of South Sudanese facing starvation and death is projected to almost double between April and July 2024, compared to the same period in 2023.

The situation is blamed on sharp currency depreciation, subnational violence and the humanitarian crisis caused by the influx of returnees and refugees from the Sudan.

The report also found that conflict, climate extremes, and economic shocks continue to drive vulnerable households into food crises across the world.

Meanwhile, the U.S. envoy said the relationship between Juba and Washington must not be solely a matter of financial assistance but rather as a matter of values.

“Our objective should not be more assistance provided, but partnership: a partnership that benefits all the people of South Sudan and helps advance the conditions for a better future for all.”

“It is time to stop talking about our bilateral relationship in terms of what more the U.S. government should fund in South Sudan and to start talking about what our two governments can do together as partners to help the South Sudanese people.”

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